Best CBD Oils [2018 Buyer's Guide]

By Remedy Review

In this CBD oil buyer’s guide, we will explain to you how to pick the best CBD oil based on your preferences. We can help you buy smart, tested products—and save money. 

But first, a preview of our 2018 Top CBD Oils.

Editor's Pick

Rosebud CBD
This is a quality product that comes in three different strengths, allowing for customization of dose based on condition and experience. The package also comes with handy dosing cards to help you judge the amount of CBD you’re taking. Led by Alexis Rosenbaum, Rosebud stands out as a female-led cannabis brand. Rosebud has a very natural taste and aftertaste, which some family and friends hated. But the payoff was a strong relaxation, especially with the more highly concentrated products.

Most Concentrated CBD Oil

NuLeaf Naturals
All NuLeaf natural products are formulated to have the same 50mg of CBD in each milliliter. They sell 5 different bottle sizes and customers save when they buy larger. Online reviews and testimonials touted Nuleaf Naturals as a good CBD oil for pain because of the concentrated formula.

Best Tasting CBD Oil

Populum
For conditions like sleep and anxiety, people report needing to take consistent dosages on a regular basis. They also want something that isn’t terrible to swallow each time they take a dose. Populum oils have a nice citrus flavor. The oil is light and feels clean in the mouth. The brand also offers “subscribe and save” options to help with the cost of buying CBD monthly.

Best Value CBD Oil

Green Mountain
Organically farmed in Vermont, Green Mountain CBD oil is a great value option that still abides stringent quality standards. The oil is significantly less expensive than some other leading brands when you break cost down by both milliliter of oil or milligram of CBD. We also like these vertically-integrated companies that control the supply chain from soil to shelf.

👅: Chocolate mint flavor is a bonus.

Let’s get smarter…

1. How to review CBD oil brands.

It’s important to do your homework before buying CBD oil. These products can impact your health, so you should take each brand’s quality control practices seriously. The hemp-derived CBD market is full of unproven medical claims, new players, and sexy brands, so do research.

To pick the best CBD oil for you, here’s a few quick tips.

  • Look for recent third-party test results. Leading brands test often. This means at least quarterly. Some brands test each batch. A brand with no test results available or test results that are more than a year old is a brand to avoid. We’ll talk more about testing later on the page.
  • Call the brands. On the fence about a brand? Call them and ask a couple questions. A lot of these people are in this business to help people feel better. Don’t waste your money on a brand that won’t answer your questions or stand by their product.
  • Do some math. Labeling is confusing and every brand is a little different. There are various bottle sizes, serving sizes, and concentrations. You should be able to do some quick division to find the amount of CBD in each serving, how many servings in the bottle, and the price per serving.

We have spoken to

  • a pediatric neurologist who is bullish on the potential of CBD
  • a neuroscientist who is skeptical about the value of isolated CBD
  • an expert who thinks hemp-based CBD needs more oversight

They all say consumers should be careful.

You should consult a professional when making decisions about your health. You should also know that despite strong anecdotal evidence to support the impact of CBD, clinical trials are limited and these products are not FDA-approved. We aim to be a measured voice, to help you get good info. But our advice is editorial—not medical. Talk to a doctor.

Use your head.
Say you need to take 50mg of CBD. So you buy gummies that are 10mg each. How much sugar and corn syrup did you eat to get your CBD dose? Remember, you want a supplement—not a snack. Ask yourself if the product you’re buying makes sense.

Also, say you found gummies that promise 500mg of CBD for $15. Everywhere else sells the same for $50. Did this brand find a magic way to lower the cost of growing, extracting, and packaging CBD? Or is this brand bogus?

2. Our CBD Oil Review Methodology

People are taking CBD tinctures for sleep, pain, and anxiety. They are looking for relief. We think products with this kind of health potential should be quality and safe. We think the brands that make them should be transparent.

We also understand comparing brands is difficult. That’s why we want to point out 6 Core Principles that you can use to easily review CBD oil brands. Use these key differentiators to make simple, personal decisions about what CBD brand is right for you.

Principle What it means to you
Value ($/mg) By dividing the price of a bottle by the milligrams of CBD in that bottle, you can make a more simple cost comparison. Note: cost/milliliter is another judge of value. But we think “how much CBD you get” is more important than “how much product you get.”
Strength (mg/ml) All these bottles are labeled differently. Some have names like “classic” or “full strength.” By dividing the milligrams in a bottle by the milliliters of liquid, you get a simple way to compare strength.
Source (USA/European/Other) Since the 2014 Farm Bill, most brands have had enough time to locate and transition to American hemp. We believe in American hemp. Brands that source hemp from Europe can make perfectly fine products, but we support hemp grown in the U.S.A.
Flavor Flavor is an important differentiator when you’re putting a product in your mouth. A lot of these products taste like hemp, which is very natural and earthy. Others use different flavors to cover this taste.
Transparency We believe all brands must clearly post or make easily accessible recent third-party test results. They should also be open and clear about the extraction methods they use.
Corporate Citizenship We will provide notes on customer service, buying experience, and brand mission. As well as notes on non-profit or assistance initiatives that can help distinguish brands.

These are the 6 things we believe customers should use to compare CBD oil brands. But this information only provides a foundation.

Once you narrow your list of brands, consider some other things.

Is the product full-spectrum or an isolate? We believe full-spectrum oils have greater therapeutic value. Some people talk about the “entourage effect,” or multiple cannabinoids working together. Experts we talk to support the idea of whole-plant therapy. Look for full-spectrum oils. Be careful not to get duped into buying products that use words like “pure” or “potent.” See past the marketing.

Does this brand operate in a state where marijuana is legal? States that have legalized marijuana have more standardized regulations. The industry in these places has infrastructure and processes in place. States that only allow limited cultivation of industrial hemp simply have less resources to scrutinize product development. 

Do I want a brand that does one thing great or has everything I need? Consider product diversity. Some people like to shop brands who have a very narrow expertise. Other people like access to capsules, vapes, gummies, and suppositories all in one place. The main thing to look out for is white labeling. Is the company who sells everything accountable for the manufacturing of those products or are they a storefront?

Does this brand have assistance programs and military discounts available? Medicine and supplements are expensive. We like seeing brands who make access to their products easier.

3. Our Top 11 CBD Oil Brands (in alphabetical order)

This list is based on

  • 37 conversations with product development specialists about quality control standards,
  • 1,000+ online customer reviews, both general and condition-specific,
  • 2 months of testing by the Remedy Review staff.

Bluebird Botanicals

🔬 Very few brands are this focused on safety and quality control.

CBDfx

💡 Diverse product catalogue allows you to find any type of product you need.

Dixie Botanicals

👅 Peppermint option is good for people who do not like the taste of hemp.

Functional Remedies

🏌️‍♂️ Quality full-spectrum products with a line dedicated to athletes.

Green Mountain

👅 Chocolate mint flavor completely covers the taste of hemp.

Green Roads World

💡 Broad product selection allows for easy shopping.

MedixCBD

☁️ Various strength options available for any type of consumer.

NuLeaf Naturals

⚡ Strong, concentrated CBD oils.

Palmetto Harmony

👩 Mom-turned-entrepreneur, family business with a wonderful origin story.

Populum

👅 Best tasting CBD oil. Very citrus flavor.

Rosebud CBD

👩 Female-led business with a simple, effective product line.

4. Complete CBD Oil Brand Comparison Chart

Note: For consistency of comparison, we bought each brands basic, lowest concentration oil. Because a lot of people who use our website are new to CBD, we started with these “entry level” bottles. These costs reflect prices when we pulled our list in October 2018. 

Brand  Description Entry Cost Value
($/mg)
Strength
(mg/mL)
Review Highlight
Bluebird Botanicals Products: Multiple

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2 & Ethanol

Test results: On website

$24.95

30ml/250mg

$0.10 8 Easy to navigate online store and very transparent test results posted on product pages. Peppery, spicy flavor profile.
CBDistillery Products: Multiple

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: On website

$20

30ml/250mg

$0.08 8 Comprehensive, affordable product offering, including edibles and suppositories.
CBDfx Products:
MultipleHemp source:
EuropeanTest results:
On website
$74.99

30ml/500mg

$0.15 16 Wide product selection. Easy to shop website.
CW Hemp Products: Multiple

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Test results: On website

$39.99

30ml/300mg

$0.16 8 Easy to navigate online store. Multiple flavor options.
Dixie Botanicals Products: Multiple

Hemp source: Europe

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: Upon request

$29

30ml/100mg

$0.29 3 Comprehensive product offering across a range of brands. Hemp is sourced from Europe.
Endoca Products: Multiple

Hemp source: Scandinavia

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: Upon request

$31

10ml/300mg

$0.10 30⚡ Developed a fund to help parents with financial hardships acquire CBD for their children.
Functional Remedies Products: Tinctures, capsules, salves

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: Lipid infusion (coconut oil)

Test results: Upon request

$37.99

30ml/250mg

$0.15 8 Simple to use online store though website content and product descriptions are geared toward a more sophisticated customer.
Green Mountain Products: Tinctures, capsules, salves

Hemp source: Vermont 🇺🇸

Extraction process: Lipid infusion (coconut oil)

Test results: On website

$30

60ml/600mg

$0.05 10 Highly transparent, mission-driven business with a simple, pure product.
MedixCBD Products: Multiple

Hemp source: Kentucky 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: Upon request

$45.99

15ml/250mg

$0.18 16 Quick clean and easy online shopping experience.
Nuleaf Naturals Products: Tinctures

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2

Test results:Available Upon request

$38.50

5 ml/240mg

$0.16 48⚡ Natural, transparent brand. Most expensive when looking at cost per mL.
Populum Products: Tinctures, salves, pets 🐾

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: Ethanol

Test results: On website

$120.00

30ml/500mg

$0.24 16 Offers free shipping and subscribe-to-save feature. 250mg out of stock at time of price check.
Rosebud CBD Oil Products: Tinctures

Hemp source: Oregon 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: On website

$55

15ml/350mg

$0.16 23⚡ Subscription option offers savings of 10%.
Green Roads World Products: oils, capsules, isolates, edibles, topical creams, pet products

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: On website

$45.99

15mL/250mg

$0.18 17 Broad product selection, military discount and partnership with org treating veterans with PTSD and suicidal thoughts.
CBD BioCare Products: hemp oil extract, pain creams, skincare

Hemp source: U.S. 🇺🇸

Extraction Process: CO2

Test results: On website

$64.99

30mL/500mg

$0.13 17 Organically grown and FDA approved with medical staff available for questions, cost effective
CBD Infusionz Products: oils, isolates and concentrate, capsules, edibles, pre-roll joints, pet products, lotions and salves

Source: Unknown

Extraction process: Unknown

Test results: On website

$44.99

29mL/300mg

$0.15 10 One of the widest product selections, competitive pricing and great customer service. Source of hemp and extraction process unclear
Irie CBD Products: oil blends, tinctures, topical pain cream and face serum

Hemp source: Oregon 🇺🇸

Extraction process: CO2

Test results: Available upon request, soon to be on website

$34.97

32mL/250mg

$0.14 8 American-sourced hemp with products designed for different needs such as “daily,” “calm,” “pain,” and “feminine” products.
Pure Hemp Botanicals Products: tincture, capsules, crystals,  vapes, mints, tea, pet products

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: ethanol, winterization, distillation

Test results: On website

$34.95

30mL/300mg

$0.12 10 Inexpensive, broad product selection and subscription services, mission-driven organization with social and environmental impact focus.
Receptra Naturals Products: oil extract, topical products, lip balm, pet products

Hemp source: Colorado 🇺🇸

Extraction process: dried hemp flowers washed with food grade alcohol

Test results: On website

$24.95

15mL/250mg

$0.10 17 Special focus on solutions for athletes and very effective for sports injury pain relief.

Over the course of months we purchased, tasted, and tested 100+ CBD products across internal staff members, family, and friends.

5. What is CBD Oil?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis. It exists in marijuana and hemp. We’re focused on CBD as a derivative of the hemp plant.

Cannabinoids like CBD work by empowering your endocannabinoid system to regulate physiological and cognitive functions like appetite, anxiety, mood, pain-sensation, and inflammation.

If you talk to someone who has studied cannabis, they will tell you that cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids, in plants) were part of the human diet for a very long time, dating back centuries. Your body even produces its own cannabinoids that are called endocannabinoids. Adding cannabis derivatives to your wellness plan gives your body more cannabinoids to use.

6. Why Buy CBD Oil?

People are taking CBD oil (from hemp) because it is an easy-to-use supplement that may offer the healing potential of cannabis without the high. It’s that simple. Many of us have heard of the medical applications of marijuana but we can’t get high each time we feel an ache or get overwhelmed.

7. How to Buy CBD Oil

Check your state’s laws

Most states have laws that allow hemp-based CBD products. But these laws are not always clear. We do not recommend traveling or flying with CBD.

Check test results

Brands should show third-party test results on their website or send these results to you upon request. There are a number of things a you can look for in these results when deciding between CBD oil brands.

  • Batch numbers. Some brands test so frequently you can check an individual product’s batch number and follow a crop from soil, to lab, to bottle. You should at least see recent test results—maybe within the last quarter, absolutely within the last year.
  • Cannabinoid concentration, potency, and terpene levels. A JAMA study found that a third of CBD products are mislabeled. It’s important to check test results to verify the products you are buying were tested to validate levels of CBD, THC, and other terpenes.
  • Pesticides and heavy metals. Hemp will suck up whatever is in the soil. This is another reason why we like established brands on established land versus pop-up brands that may source hemp from unproven ground. You can check test results to assure heavy metal content is below a safe threshold.
  • Solvents and bacteria, like salmonella. All products should be free of solvents. They should also be manufactured in clean facilities.  

8. How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

Understand product concentrations

Concentrations vary from 1 mg CBD per milliliter to 50 or 100 mg per milliliter.

If a bottle has 500mg of CBD and 30ml in the bottle, you can get an estimate of the number of milligrams in a milliliter. In this case about 17 mg/ml.

Other times you will see brands list the milligrams in a “serving.” Often a serving is 1 milliliter.

Take time to get your dose right

Dosing guidelines are limited. The best advice is to start low and work your way up to a dose that is right for you. One online resource suggests 1-6 mg of CBD per 10 lbs of body weight. So a 200-pound man might take 20 to 120 mg of CBD. This could be broken out through the course of a day.

Consider concentration when dosing for different conditions. Dosing for anxiety (regular, lower doses) may be very different from dosing for sleep (single, higher doses). That’s not medical advice. It’s what we hear from people who use CBD.

Dosing is the #1 question brands get. It’s the question we get most often. This point can’t be overstated: there is no clear or prescriptive answer.

How your body reacts to CBD is unique. Also, whether you want to “feel relaxed” or simply take a daily supplement is up to you. A capsule may give your body cannabinoids that steadily absorb into your body over time. A vape you’ll feel right away. Oils are closer to vapes in how quickly they work, but they take time to get into your system. Don’t immediately take more. The impact of CBD may be cumulative.

9. How to Pick the Right Type of CBD Product

We talk a lot about oils on this page. Oils are a good way to get an efficient dose of CBD. There are also vapes, gummies, capsules, patches, and suppositories available—to name a few.

  • Know what outcome you hope to achieve. Different types of products, as well as different concentrations and dosages, will have different health benefits. They will also take different amounts of time to work.
  • Know how much you want to spend. Once you’ve decided on the outcome you want to achieve and how regularly you’ll be taking CBD, decide how much you want to spend. Compare prices and look at subscription options.
  • Try multiple brands. We tell you to look out for bad actors. But the truth is there are a lot of good brands that care about people. On things like taste and concentration, you may want to try different brands.
Shop around.
There are brands with better droppers. I like Rosebud’s dropper. Enough to swallow the taste. Some other brands, the droppers are cheaper. You have to keep sucking up portions of droppers to get to a dose.  

10. CBD Testimonials

Kelsey, 25

I notice I’m slightly more irritable when I skip a day, which might mean CBD relaxes me more than I think.

Emily, 28

I noticed the biggest difference in quality of sleep after two days of use, and it was some of the deepest sleep I’ve ever had. The oil greatly curbed my menstrual pain and allowed me to actually get some rest. I don’t love the taste, but I got used to it.

Tammy, 59

Getting to sleep each night usually requires the careful placement of pillows to form a comfy “nest” plus soft music and a wait-time of 60–90 minutes. I took 2 droppers of CBD oil at bedtime while staying at my daughter’s home. In 35 minutes I was so sleepy and relaxed; I fell asleep easily without extra pillows or music…monumental for a stay away from home!

Tyler, 33

It took about an hour for me to notice a change. But then I was relaxed. My kids were still screaming but their voices were less piercing. I felt more patient. I actually played with trains for an hour and a half.

Ask us a question.

This is a rapidly evolving space. We’re happy to answer questions. Just shoot us a note at editors@remedyreview.com. Please know, we can tell you about a brand’s service, quality control practices, and mission. But we will not give you medical advice.

11. Risks, Side Effects, FAQs

Here are some questions you can use to lead a conversation with your doctor.

  • Have you ever treated a patient with a cannabis derivative?
  • Do your readings tell you anything about treating my condition with cannabis, or hemp?
  • What are the side effects of CBD?
  • Do any of your other patients use CBD to manage symptoms of their condition?
  • Do you think hemp derivatives are safe?
  • What do I need to look out for if I’m shopping for a CBD product?
  • Should I try an oil, topical, or capsule if I choose to use CBD?

At the end of the day, choosing the best cannabis brand means finding one you’re comfortable with. Keep in mind, while the World Health Organization has said CBD is relatively safe with positive therapeutic potential, human studies are limited. It’s important to talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CBD safe?

According to the World Health Organization, CBD “is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile.” You should speak to your doctor about how CBD may interact with any medications you’re currently taking.

Does CBD get you high?

No. CBD lacks the psychoactive properties of THC. Where THC interacts with your receptors in your brain, CBD affects your body in a more indirect way.

How long does CBD last?

6-8 hours is a good starting place for how long oils last. But it will depend on your body and how your body processes CBD.

Can I take too much CBD?

You want to be careful taking anything that can impact your health. These products also may interact with medicines you are taking, which is why you should talk to your doctor. A high dose can make you drowsy. One certainty if you take too much: you will waste money.

Shop smart and protect yourself.

After reading this buyer’s guide we hope you’re a more savvy CBD consumer who can better separate fact from fiction in this ever-evolving space.

Choices about your health are personal. In the end, review CBD oil brands based on what is important to you. Try different products until you find the flavor, potency, and cost that fits your needs.

 


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